I did use coupons. In fact, I blogged about it. I learned a lot of cool ways to use them, and got some things for just pennies. There have been lots of recent hits on my blog for couponing, which made me realize I should share why we don't do it anymore, and what we do instead.
We have transitioned to from-scratch cooking in order to save money and eat healthier. And by golly, it just tastes better! Many of our toiletries and all of our cleaning products are homemade, so I don't buy those either. If you'll notice, coupons are only available for name-brand products, cleaning products, and mostly processed foods. We try to keep the processed foods to a minimum, and avoid chemicals in our home in any way possible.
So, I'm going to share with you an incomplete list (because I may not even remember all the stuff we make now) of what we DON'T buy and how we make it. We save money on these things because we only need to keep basic ingredients on hand to whip up all kinds of recipes, both for household use and human consumption.
These are recipes and links that I have personally used and loved.
homemade yeast (I will try again) homemade velveeta cheese (there are some occasions when that's all that will work!) probiotic deodorant - not sure why this didn't work; but you really want your deodorant to work, right? sunscreen - we made it and used it last year with fairly good results; this summer we used last year's batch and got super-burned! Maybe we needed a fresh batch?
We try to buy our meat, produce, and some dairy from our local organic food co-op, and are growing a garden. With the above basic recipes and co-op purchases, we shop at the local grocery store less and less.
Not only do these methods save money, they are fun, and homemade is always better!